Australian Homes

Adelaide Home – Brian Parkes and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 26th October 2011

The Adelaide home of Brian Parkes and family.  Glass sphere by Tom Rowney, screenprint by Rover Thomas, chair by Yngve Ekstrom, vintage sideboard and coffee table by South Australian manufacturer Noblett.  All photos – Lucy Feagins.

Brian and Imogen Parkes’ extensive Aboriginal art collection is dotted throughout the house.  These works are by Arnhem Land artists, Gumatj Larrakitj, Jack Pascoe, Gulumbu Yunupingu, Emanuel Warrkidj and Debra Wurrkidj

Adelaide is a generous city in more ways than one.  It’s full of wide open spaces and large residential blocks – and just 15 minutes from the CBD, you can be in the hills, surrounded by enormous trees and chirping birds.  A rare and beautiful thing.

Brian Parkes and his young family have experienced the charms of this city first hand, after making the move from inner city Sydney to Adelaide just 18 months ago.   Brian worked for many years at Sydney’s Object Gallery, but took up the role of CEO of the JamFactory (yes, them again) last year and made the big move to SA with his family in tow. I’m not sure if he and partner Imogen were exactly planning on growing roots here quite so soon, but when this perfect mid-century family home came up for sale in leafy Bellevue Heights,  I guess they were easily convinced!

‘As former Sydney-siders we were surprised that we might actually be able to afford to buy what we saw as a dream house, amongst the gum trees with views of the sun setting over the water!’ says Brian. ‘We especially love the central courtyard and the separation of the house into distinct zones for kids and adults’.  Indeed I must say this home does have all those wonderful and beautifully balanced qualities inherent in modernist residential architecture – perfect orientation, space efficiency and modest scale, and a strong connection to nature.  Brian and Imogen’s two gorgeous kids Luca (3.5 yrs) and Mara (1) are also loving having a a little more space to grow!

When asked how his family have found the move interstate, Brian’s enthusiasm for his new surroundings is clear.  ‘We absolutely love it.  After living in the middle of Surry Hills in Sydney for many years we were keen to try a different lifestyle. Imogen was a few months pregnant with Mara when we moved, so we were keen to find a place that would suit our changing needs.  Adelaide has some great advantages for young families – the pace, space, accessibility of things (and some great kid-friendly beaches).  We thoroughly enjoyed living in Sydney, but our quality of life, as a family of four, here in Adelaide is simply light-years beyond what it could have been in Sydney as we outgrew our little apartment’.  Now that is what is what I call a glowing report!

Brian and Imogen have also been pleasantly surprised by the great sense of community in their local area – especially important for Imogen, with two energetic pre-school kids to wrangle!  During my visit, as if on cue, a neighbour popped by to offload an immense plate of BBQ ribs(!!), left over from a party the night before!   So somehow I ended up staying for dinner, eating the neighbour’s leftovers! (Delicious, by the way).  And THEN Brian drove me home!  Such hospitality!  I guess it’s an Adelaide thing.

Massive thanks to Brian and Imogen for sharing their stunning home with us, and to the friendly neighbours for dinner!

Dining room adjoining central courtyard.  Original South Australian Mintaro slate floors and timber panelling.

A quiet corner in the kids playroom.  Eames LCW chair and paintings by Phillip Watkins and Mantua James Nangala.

Master bedroom – chair by superstar Adelaide furniture designer Khai Liew, painting by Ramingining artist Clara Matjandatjpi (Wubukwubuk)

Bedroom details – artwork by JamFactory Glass Studio Coordinator Christine Cholewa and painting by Clara Matjandatjpi (Wubukwubuk)

Bedroom details – Noguchi lamp, artwork by Christine Chole

Part of a collection of baskets on the study wall, a traditional Indonesian basket, handbag by Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr (Elcho Island), woven bowl by Mavis Ngallametta (Aurukun), dilly bag by Doreen Jinggarrabarra (Maningrida) and basket by an unknown artist from Yirrkala. (this collection inspired in part by the lovely home of Brian’s friend Liane Rossler!)

Pandanus fish trap by Lorna Jin-gubrarrangunyja and nature collage by Imogen and Luca!

Details from Luca’s bedroom.  Vintage bed by Schulim Krimper.  Hanging pencil mobile by John Quan.

Look at that view from the kitchen window!

Kitchen details!  Brian proudly displays his Kink oil bottle and new baby vinegar bottle! (don’t forget to leave a comment on the Guest Blog this week to be in the running to win one of these!)

Outdoor dining in the central courtyard (looking into playroom).  Outdoor chairs by Queensland designer Alexander Loterzstain.

Cute potted greenery in the courtyard

Pool on the front deck.  Views to conservation bushland across the road, and the beautiful Flinders University campus

Pool / house / trees /

House exterior

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 26th October 2011

28 comments

  • Linda from OEKE 3 years ago

    I think I would move to Adelaide just to live in a house like that.
    Love all their artwork and furniture too – perfect selection.

  • Kelly 3 years ago

    Why has the Design files become primarily interior design? Yawn.

  • Jessamy 3 years ago

    Adelaide is underestimated, fabulous house.

  • Emma 3 years ago

    I grew up in Adelaide, and have been in Melbs for 12 years, but you are seriously making me homesick!
    Bellevue Heights is a gorgeous area, and you are right, in 15 mins from the city you could be in the bush, or at the beach.
    Glad you like it so much, hope that you went to the Central Market, more please!

  • Pippa 3 years ago

    I love the blend of mid century with Aboriginal Art, very inspiring!

  • Cathg1g2 3 years ago

    Oh, only other city apart from Melbs to live in, this one I could live in for sure.

  • Jess 3 years ago

    Gorgeous! Makes me even more excited about coming home from the UK at the end of the year. The colours and textures and atmosphere – so unique to Australia.
    Kelly – plenty of other places to go if you don’t enjoy this wonderful blog.
    And aaaah – another Jessamy exists in the world – never met another one!

  • Oh Adelaide, beautiful, glorious Adelaide!

    My home town has done me proud :)

    This is a beautiful home! Love the deck-come-pool!

    As for TDF being primarily interior design? That’s what I come for, & love. And you show enough of the outdoors too, without being a little yawn. To me, the best design happens indoors.

    But that’s just my humble opinion.

  • Barbara Duggan 3 years ago

    I moved to Melbourne from Adelaide 26 years ago, and just looking at these beautiful photos of this perfect house bring back happy memories.
    And I LOVE all your interior design shots!

  • Kylie 3 years ago

    Yet another very lovely home, inside and out.

  • michele 3 years ago

    wow wow wow! Brian + Imogen…. we all miss you in Sydney, and in at Object, but look at the amazing new space you have surrounded by all the folk in Adelaide! Cannot compete. So great to see your place… and your brilliant collection of furniture and artworks. Hope you all are well… xx

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    Thanks for all your lovely comments guys!

    Yay for gorgeous houses.
    Yay for people who let me photograph their homes.
    Yay for you guys who read this blog!

    So many good things. Thankyou so much for your comments! x

  • Em 3 years ago

    gorgeous! Lucy you are the best :)

  • Glamour Drops 3 years ago

    What a classic Adelaide Mid Century Modern cracker of a house. So very many of them, and luckily so many have been kept. But not all have the original kitchen, panelling and crazy paving internally – which is very exciting to see. MCM house with gum trees outside – it doesn’t get much better!

  • Clare 3 years ago

    What a beautiful house! Saving these images into my ‘desirable homes’ file, for sure!

  • Ray 3 years ago

    LOVE the house, great Artwork, great photos Lucy, and LOVE “crazy paving” slate floors. Can’t have a midcentury house without them!

  • Brismod 3 years ago

    What a great home! There was nothing I did not like in that entire space. Fabulous! xx

  • Sarah 3 years ago

    Stunning home, and a lovely family.

  • Lynda newton 3 years ago

    What a gorgeous home and once again great images, nothing to yawn about here!! Love Wednesday home tours, ours featured last year and was a pleasure working with you Lucy x

  • Allison 3 years ago

    What a lovely and beautiful home. I actually live up the hill in Glenalta in my mid century house and can say there is no better place to live. We are a fifteen minute drive to the city yet live up amongst the gum trees, have koalas, kookaburras and all sorts of wildlife visiting. I love it. Thanks for the Adelaide feature, it really is a wonderful city and there is so many hidden gems and talented people to discover here. I think TDF is a fabulous collection of all types of design, its my go to website everyday.

  • Lucy! I grew up in Bellevue Heights… Gawd damn, you’ve made me want to move back -I’m already hunting on realestate.com!
    p.s. No yawning over here ;)

  • Anthea 3 years ago

    LURVE the interiors blogs – keep up the GREAT work !

  • Dayna 3 years ago

    Can anyone tell me where I can purchase Christing Cholewa art online? I loved the piece showcased in today’s home…

  • msd 3 years ago

    It’s so refreshing to see a beautiful mid century home that incorporates so much local design. Bravo.

  • Tracy 3 years ago

    WOW I think that is one of the best pools I have seen.

  • Diane 3 years ago

    Oh my, this house is absolutely beautiful!

  • Joanne 3 years ago

    so homely do you think they would let me come and stay – great blog too Lucy thanks

  • mariana 3 years ago

    absolutely stunning home..
    a perfect blend of style and a warmth.
    ps. definitely not yawning here.
    [and it's after midnight]

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